Here’s the second installment of questions from the February Art Issue Feature I Just Know What I Like with Evan Mann, Michael Ensminger and Jason Thielke. Because we originally set out to pigeonhole them all into different “levels” of success that we arbitrarily came up (please, don’t judge us. Our intention was to entertain and inspire you, to show you what it’s like), this was a relevant question to the piece. But, in reality, it’s just interesting to hear how people gauge success in their work (especially when that work is both personal and an act of self-expression). Take a look at what our featured artists had to say.
Today’s question: What constitutes being a successful artist?
EVAN MANN: A successful artist is the one who creates like a child and sells like a Picasso. To do both is the challenge, and the child must come first, because the child is pure and genuine. It is the ability to openly communicate purpose regardless of criticism. (click here to read more about Mann .)
MICHAEL ENSMINGER: For me, it means getting satisfaction from what I do, being inspired and creating things that entertain or inspire others. Creating excitement with depth and breadth and deeper meaning. Making a living as an artist
is nice, but it’s by no means a measure of artistic success. If a few people who see my work get a different perspective on something than they had before, then I’ve been successful. (click here to read more about Ensminger.)
JASON THIELKE: A successful artist somehow manages to make the art that they want to make. As long as you have time to explore your art how you want to, I think you are successful. People get hung up, they feel like they need to be showing and selling to be successful, but there are artists who
keep their entire collections in their attic, and it does not make them any more or less successful than someone on show. (click here to read more about Thielke.)
Tomorrow’s question: As an artist, how important do you think approval is?
– Laura Standley, Editor in chief